Literature Research Guide: Irish Mysteries

This guide highlights resources available from McClelland Library for anyone looking to research Irish mystery literature or searching for their next great mystery book. The McClelland Library owns many more mystery titles which can be found by searching our catalog. This current list does not include our full collection of mysteries.

dublin in 1916

Mystery & Detective Fiction

The Cold Cold Ground: a Detective Sean Duffy novel by Adrian McKinty (Book 1 of the Troubles Trilogy)

Call number: FIC McKinty, A Publication Date: 2012

Detective Sean Duffy is tasked with investigating a homophobic serial killer and a young woman’s suicide that may turn out to be murder during hunger strikes, riots, and power cuts in Northern Ireland in 1981. 

The Death of an Irish Tinker: a Peter McGarr mystery by Bartholomew Gill

Call Number: FIC Gill, B Publication Date: 1997

Peter McGarr, chief superintendent of Ireland’s Special Crimes Unit, investigates the king of Ireland’s heroin trade who may have left clues while committing a murder. 

Haunted Ground by Erin Hart

Call Number: FIC Hart, E Publication Date: 2005

The Irish landscape holds secrets past and present as archaeologist Cormac O’Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin encounter a mystery when a decapitated woman is found in the bogs who may be related to a recent mother/child disappearance.

In The Woods by Tana French (Book 1 of the Dublin Murder Squad series)

Call Number: FIC French, T Publication Date: 2007

Detectives Ryan and Maddox, investigate the murder of a girl in Dublin. There are similarities between the case and a twenty year old murder involving two children and young Ryan.

Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

Call Number: FIC Neville, S Publication Date: 2015

Returning to work after battling breast cancer, Belfast DCI Serena Flanagan reopens a closed case after the “schoolboy killer”, who confessed to killing his foster father, is released from prison. 

Learn More About Our Holdings

An Interview with Tana French

Fun Lovin' Crime Writers

Did you know Stuart Neville has a band?

Light Mystery Fiction

The Case of the Missing Books: A Mobile Library Mystery by Ian Sansom

Call Number: FIC Sansom, I Publication Date: 2006

Israel Armstrong, new to Ireland, puts his librarian skills to the test as he tries to solve the mystery of the missing books from the mobile library.

Death Goes on Retreat by Sister Carol Anne O’Marie

Call Number: FIC O’Marie Publication Date: 1995

At the annual nuns’ retreat, Sister Mary Helen discovers the body of Greg Johnson, former student of the priesthood. While waiting for the arrival of the police, Sister Mary Helen begins an investigation of her own.  


Nonfiction Mystery

Maamtrasna: The Murders and the Mystery by Jarlath Waldron

Call Number: 364.1523 W1476m Publication Date: 1992

Well researched true-life murder mystery of the 1882 Maamstrasna murders on the Galway/Mayo border in which an innocent man was executed for the murders of the Joyce family.

Murder Most Irish edited by Ed Gorman, Larry Segriff and Martin H Greenberg

Call Number: 823.08 M94 Publication Date: 1996

A collection of Irish detective and mystery stories.

Yeats is Dead!: a mystery by fifteen Irish writers edited by Joseph O’Connor
Call Number: 823.92 Y34 Publication Date: 2002

 Writers include Roddy Doyle, Marian Keyes, Joseph O’Connor, and Frank McCourt, this story revolves around an unpublished James Joyce manuscript and a series of strange murders that is humorous and mysterious. 

Yeats is Dead! Chapter 2 Read Through

Historical Mystery Fiction

The Holy Thief by William Ryan*

Call Number: Ryan, W Publication Date: 2010

During Stalin’s Great Terror in 1936 Moscow, a young woman was found dead. Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev enters the realm of Thieves, who run Moscow’s underworld to solve the murder.

*Irish Author

An Irish Hostage by Charles Todd (Book 12 in series)

Call Number: Todd, C Publication Date: 2021

In the uneasy peace following the first World War, nurse Bess Crawford runs into trouble and treachery in Ireland.

Suffer Little Children: a Sister Fidelma mystery by Peter Tremayne

Call Number: FIC Tremayne, P Publication Date: 1997

In A.D. 644, the dying King of Muman requests Sister Fidelma to solve a murder and to prevent war between kingdoms.

Learn More About Our Holdings

Check out this Book Review if you love a good mystery:

The Mobile Library: The Case Of The Missing Books, by Ian Sansom

Teen Mystery Fiction

Donneymead Castle by Kathleen W Forbes (Book 1 in Holly Brannigan Mystery series)

Call Number: FIC Forbes, K Teen Publication Date: 2015

Teen amateur sleuth Holly Brannigan puts her skills to the test when mysterious activity has been taking place on the castle grounds.

Scuba Hijinks by Kathleen W Forbes (Book 2 in Holly Brannigan Mystery series)

Call Number: FIC Forbes, K Teen Publication Date: 2015

Holly and her friends are thrown into a world of kidnapping and vandalism as they use their new scuba diving skills and unlimited trust in each other to bring a gang of rogue scuba divers to justice.

Garibaldi Mountain by  Kathleen W Forbes (Book 3 in Holly Brannigan Mystery series)

Call Number: FIC Forbes, K Teen Publication Date: 2016

A family with three children disappeared while camping in Garibaldi Provincial Park. When Holly and her friends hear of the news, they join a Mountain Search and Rescue team of volunteers and soon find clues that make them suspicious of foul play. 

Who is Kathleen Forbes?